Lakers News: Latest on Marc Gasol's Future, Carmelo Anthony Rumors and MoreAugust 3, 2021
Lakers News: Latest on Marc Gasol's Future, Carmelo Anthony Rumors and More
The Lakers once again dominated the discussion as free agency opened Monday, as much for what they might do as they actually did.
Sure, they welcomed back former player Dwight Howard (among others) and watched Anthony Caruso sign with the Bulls, but the intrigue lied in the potential moves the team would make to return to the championship caliber team one-year removed from hoisting the Larry O'Brien trophy.
In the wake of opening day, who might don the purple and yellow for the 2021-22 season and might one such player be a future Hall of Famer forever linked to Lebron James?
Latest on Marc Gasol's Future in Los Angeles
Marc Gasol is coming back to Los Angeles, Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported.
The announcement came after the 36-year old lost to Team USA as part of the Spanish national team Tuesday and was a surprise to some following a frustrating 2020-21 season.
Gasol joined Los Angeles a year ago under the assumption that he would be part of the starting lineup. He was benched in favor of Andre Drummond, a decision that did not sit well with the veteran player.
"When I signed with the team, I was signed to contribute to the team, especially the two main guys, to help their games and accomplish their goals, which is win another championship," he told the media last April (h/t Silver Screen and Roll).
"It’s a hard pill to swallow because I know I’m going to be out of the lineup at some point. That’s never easy on the player. As a basketball player you want to play, you want to contribute, especially when you’ve made that commitment for that reason, but we’ll see."
With Drummond's contract up, it appears as though Gasol views the situation in LA to be one worth coming back to. With the return of Dwight Howard to the team, Gasol is almost certain to split time with the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
Add to that the possibility that Anthony Davis takes away minutes by playing more at the center position, per discussions with Russel Westbrook that were had during recruitment of the former Washington Wizard, and one must question whether there are enough minutes for Gasol to stay content.
Carmelo Anthony Signing Iminent?
Adrian Wojanrowksi told ESPN's Get Up's Mike Greenberg that the Lakers are looking to sign free agent Carmelo Anthony and could do so as soon as Tuesday.
Anthony averaged just over 13 points per game for Portland in 2020-21, a career high in free throw percentage (89) and enjoyed a five-year high in percentage from beyond the arc (40.9).
The third overall pick of the Denver Nuggets in the same 2003 draft that produced Lakers star Lebron James, Anthony has never played on the same team as the four-time NBA champion.
As a role player off the bench capable of providing quality scoring, and with a reputation improved significantly by his time in Portland, the future Hall of Famer is a no-brainer pick-up for the Lakers if they can work him into their limited cap space.
If not, Knicks president Leon Rose is eyeing a potential deal with Anthony.
Kent Bazemore to LA on One-Year Deal
Shooting guard Kent Bazemore is on his way back to Los Angeles on a one year-deal, per The Athletic's Shams Charania.
Bazemore is coming off a career year from beyond the arc with the Golden State Warriors, knocking down 40-percent of his three point attempts.
He had previously turned down an offer by the Lakers in 2016. According to both Charania and Mark Medina of USA Today, he turned down more money from the Warriors to return to Los Angeles on the promise of an expanded role.
Like Anthony, Bazemore proved himself a solid veteran shooter, something the Lakers need to compete in the West. That he offers a strong wing presence, another necessity given the departure of the maligned Kyle Kuzma.
The promise of a big role may be something Bazemore wants to approach with hesitancy, though, given the aformentioned promises made to Marc Gasol when he joined the team a year ago.